As the third trimester was quickly approaching, I wanted to make sure we took the time to build our confidence as parents before the baby arrived by informing ourselves on early childhood development. What I mean by this is not just learning more about pregnancy but more importantly, to prepare ourselves for when the baby arrives. So, at 17 weeks I started to read a few pregnancy books that I wanted to share with you.
For the last few weeks prior turning 17 weeks pregnant, my husband had been spending a lot of time finding suitable books about pregnancy. He seemed nervous and unease at this next step in our life. After hours of searching online, he finally found three audio books that seemed to have good reviews and ratings; two of which were worth reading while the other was under par.
We felt that it was important to start preparing for the arrival of our baby. Being the first baby, we definitely felt a little nervous about what parenting approach or methods we would use and practice. Having a social work background, I felt that it was important for us to read a few books with different views on how to parent and then have a discussion on how we wanted to bring up our child.
A & H Eisenberg Murkoff, S.E. Hathaway – What to Expect When You’re Expecting (Abridged Audiobook)
Before I get into the books that were truly worth reading, I did want to mention the book that we felt was unhelpful. We had just watched the movie ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’ and found out that it was based on an acclaimed book. So we decided that it might be as light-hearted, entertaining and insightful as the movie. But we were wrong.
The book was not at all what I expected it to be. I thought it would go through the stages of pregnancy and in greater detail explore the issues, concerns and developments of not only pregnancy but early motherhood.
It was merely a book of random questions and answers about pregnancy. It had no order, and it didn’t make any sense. Considering that I was already well into my second trimester at the time of reading this book, I found that it brought up more concerns and stress than any good.
I stopped listening to the audio book after the first few chapters. I felt like it gave me more anxiety and was not at all helpful at all. Keeping a positive mind set and focusing on things that I can do to help prepare for the arrival of the baby was a better use of my time.
In my opinion knowing too much of what could go wrong can lead to more stress, anxiety and worry. This is not what I needed. I was enjoying my pregnancy at 17 weeks pregnant and did not need to know the ‘what if’s’. This is one of the top reasons why I do not recommend picking up this book at all. There are plenty of other great books out there and I’ll go through two that we thought were great!
Pregnancy/ Parenting Books Worth Reading
1. Elevating Child Care- A Guide To Respectful Parenting by Janet Lansbury
Janet Lansbury is a well-known writer on all things parenting and motherhood. She collates the best posts in a book format for parents-to-be called ‘Elevating Child Care- A Guide to Respectful Parenting‘. What is interesting about this book was the early childhood practices that she swears by, not just with her own children but also through proven studies by Magda Gerber, an expert in early childhood development.
Magda Gerber believed that babies were whole human beings and should be treated as such. This means that babies should not be seen as an object or of a lesser human being unable to communicate and make decisions on their own. We as parents have the responsibility to guide our baby in life by giving them the opportunities to develop at their own pace, allowing them to problem-solve and to not be overstimulated by allowing them uninterpreted play.
Coming from a social work background and having gone through marriage counseling before getting married, I can appreciate the parental practices that are shared in this book. In particular how parents are encouraged to speak with their baby right at birth. Although babies cannot communicate using words like we do, it is important to understand that they communicate through body language, tone of voice, sounds and facial expressions. After all, even as adults over 70 percent of what we communicate is done through body language. By speaking to your baby, you firstly are able to acknowledge their feelings but also allow them to develop good communication skills which that can use throughout their lives.
We learnt a lot from reading this book and it did really open out minds to more modern parenting practices. This is a parenting style that we really connected with and after reading this book, we both decided that this was the way we would choose to raise our baby.
If you enjoy this book, you might want to check out another early childhood development book called ‘Your Self-Confident Baby How to Encourage Your Child’s Natural Abilities from the Very Start’ by Magda Gerber.
2. Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five
Book by John Medina
John Medina is a developmental molecular biologist who has focused his professional career in the area of human brain development. His books including this one has been on the top seller’s list due to the insight in brain development for babies and children.
This book was an interesting book to read because it looks into the science behind brain development; how the brain reacts and organizes information. It goes into depth the development of the baby in the womb and early childhood, more specifically the brain development. It uses scientific research and understanding to piece together an overview of how a baby’s brain is developed and how as parents we can assist in our baby’s cognitive development.
‘Brain Rules for Baby‘ helped us get a better understanding of what is happening in the womb and how to care, love and nurture our baby during pregnancy and when she arrives. It touched on similar parental practices as Janet Lansbury’s book, which reinforced the practices for us, making us feel more confident of the next step after pregnancy.
All pregnancy books are available at audible, an online store providing access to audio books. I found reading these early childhood development books in the audio format a lot more manageable especially when pregnant. You can also get one free audio book and select either Elevating Child Care- A Guide To Respectful Parenting or to read Brain Rules for Baby.